GLADSTON, William Ewart [1809-1898]

William Gladstone remains the only person to have served four terms as British Prime Minister. Born in Liverpool in 1809 at 62 Rodney Street, he was the fourth son of the merchant Sir John Gladstone of Leith and his second wife, Anne MacKenzie Robertson, from Dingwal. Gladstone was born and brought up in Liverpool and was of purely Scottish ancestry. The family moved out of the city centre to Seaforth House a mansion built on the banks of the Mersey. (The district of Seaforth took its name from the house). William Gladstone was educated from 1816 to 1821 at a preparatory school at the nearby vicarage of St Thomas's Church. After attending Eton and Oxford he entered parliament in 1832 as the member for Newark.

Gladstone's birthplace still stands on Rodney Street and bears a commemorative plaque. Seaforth House was demolished in 1881. Following his marriage to Catherine Glynne in 1839 Gladstone lived at her ancestral home, Hawarden Castle. He died there in 1898 and was buried in Westminster Abbey

As one of Britain's most famous politicians there is a host of information on him available on the internet. An interesting biography of his father, Sir John Gladstone, detailing his Liverpool and business associations can be found at the History of Parliament website.

62 Rodney Street L1

Commemorative plaque on 62 Rodney Street

William Gladstone's signature from the author's collection of Liverpool autographs.


As one of the country's most famous politicians there is a veritable of mountain of information available both in printed biographies and internet material.